5 Customer Service Tech Trends to Explore at MWC 2018
Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, is being held in Barcelona from February 26 – March 1. This year’s MWC promises to be a huge event, with 2,300+ exhibitors presenting the latest and greatest in mobile technology to 108,000+ attendees from 208 countries.
That’s quite a lot of new ideas, apps, presentations and giveaways to sift through. How can you cut through the noise and industry buzz to zero in on areas that will help you achieve your business goals?
Well, if you happen to be in customer service, this list is for you.
We’ve narrowed down the 5 key customer service technology trends to watch out for in 2018. We hope it acts as a helpful guide when planning your visit to MWC.
360-degree view of your customer
In today’s digital age, companies can get a comprehensive or 360⁰ view of customers by accumulating data from the various touch points that a customer may use to contact a company. Whether via social media, websites, or online communities, companies can gather a massive amount of digital data on their customers. Companies can then use AI-driven predictive analytics tools to determine customer patterns or trends in order to better target their marketing offers, and enhance their relationship with customers.
To get started on this process, make sure your operations are digitized as much as possible. Arrange a solid infrastructure for all of your data including where it will be stored and managed. This will enable you to extract actionable insights from your customer data and capitalize on the information available to you. While this may seem daunting, there is no better time than the present to get started on the customer journey.
360⁰ customer exhibitors at MWC 2018:
Verto Analytics offers market research and cross-platform measurement services that give brands, publishers, and researchers a multi-dimensional view of the digital consumer.
Using big data analytics, machine learning and AI, Guavus subscriber intelligence products provide 360 degree insights into individual customer preferences and experiences.
Mobile messaging apps are more popular than ever as they meet the customer demand for free mobile calling and texting services. Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Google Hangouts and many more competitors have added social networking and security features, and are appealing more and more to older users.
According to Forbes, millennials exchange an average of 67 text messages each day, and the use of texting by older customers follows close behind. Considering this strong consumer preference for text, companies should strongly consider augmenting voice-based customer support with an option that allows customers to interact with your company via text as well.
Get started now. Plan the infrastructure, incorporate messaging into marketing, payment channels and customer support, and train your employees to communicate with customers in their preferred channels.
Messaging app exhibitors at MWC 2018:
Infinity Mobile is a mobile ecommerce platform.Worth noting is their shopitag solution for mobile popup shops.
Braze (formerly Appboy) is a lifecycle engagement platform that delivers personalized messaging experiences that span across channels, platforms, and devices.
Immerse technologies provide the ability to interact and communicate with the virtual environment. The technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), enable new and unique experiences for customers and employees that blur the lines between the physical world and digital world. Gartner predicts that by 2019, AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) solutions will be adopted in 20% of large-enterprise businesses.
While these technologies are still 5-10 years away from mass adoption, customer service organizations already recognize the benefits of providing an immersive customer experience. AR has been especially beneficial in the technical support domain. Providing the ability to visually overlay instructions and imagery is a game-changer in the efficiency of remote technical support.
Immersive technology exhibitors at MWC 2018:
Go6D next-generation VR panoramic hardware and software enable users to capture full 360-degree videos of the world from their smartphones and unlock new applications for photography, video, 3D, VR and additional areas yet to be discovered.
iStaging uses augmented, virtual, and mixed reality to craft immersive visualization products that help people transcend time and space. Users can capture and create immersive 360° virtual reality tours of any space from a smartphone.·
Using structured light technology that blends digital and physical realities, Mantis Vision empowers consumers, application developers and industry professionals to instantly capture and share high quality 3D content.
Virtual Customer Assistants
An increasing number of customers are demanding self-service options. Virtual customer assistants – also known as advanced chatbots – provide fast and human-like customer service at first contact. These virtual assistants mitigate the problem of customer frustrations around waiting and resolution times. With improved natural-language processing and growing consumer acceptance of robotic technology, the technologies driving virtual assistants have made interactions with customers virtually seamless and are expected to further improve in 2018.
Virtual customer assistants, just as humans, come with a range of intelligence levels. There are VCAs that can follow simple instructions with no ability to make decisions, VCAs that process natural language to understand the intent of a customer, and VCAs that are able to utilize advanced computer vision to identify the needs of the customer – from analyzing a document to identifying a device in need of support.
To get started, identify a common use case for your business and determine the type of customer who would be most likely to interact with a VCA. Use that workflow to find the best solution to address that use case – whether it’s a chatbot, voice recognition-based VCA, or one that can process visual images.
Virtual agent exhibitors at MWC 2018:
Nuance Communications uses conversational AI to create stronger relationships, and better experiences, for consumers. Check out Nina, their award-winning virtual assistant.
TechSee provides the first intelligent visual support solution powered by artificial intelligence and augmented reality. The company empowers technical support teams to execute visually-interactive remote diagnoses and resolutions of problems in support of the smart home. The company is building a massive database of interactions and resolutions to enable customers to experience rapid, fully automated, robotic visual resolution of technical issues via their smartphones.
Blockchain and customer service
Blockchain technology is a digital ledger in which transactions made in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. While blockchain is still a very young technology that has yet to be fully validated, the hype around it is at its peak.
In customer service, blockchain is currently being analyzed for its ability to reinvigorate customer loyalty programs. With its cost efficiencies, frictionless digital systems, secure and near-real time transactions, utilizing blockchain for your business can offer the added value that would drive a competitive advantage. While it’s probably too early to deploy blockchain as a practical technology, it’s worth exploring even if it’s just to make sure you have a good topic for water cooler conversations when you’re back from the MWC.
Blockchain exhibitors at MWC 2018:
TBCASoft, Inc. is developing a consortium-based blockchain platform specifically for the telecommunication industry. Their secure, robust, and scalable cross-carrier blockchain platform will enable telecom carriers to establish cross-carrier business and to provide ubiquitous services to global subscribers.
FlexVPC’s SafeXain solution represents a new way to share documentation and execute secure transactions using blockchain technology. The solution is encrypted and unhackable, shared instantly, fully traceable and unchangeable. The solution is ideal for customer support departments of banks, insurance, supply chain, trading, real estate, law, and other industry that requires confidential documents.
So when planning your visit to this year’s MWC, make sure you connect with exhibits addressing the 5 key customer service technology trends we expect to see in 2018: 360⁰ customer, messaging applications, immersive technologies, virtual assistants and blockchain technology for customer service.